Wikinews interviews Chinese-American martial artist Alfred Hsing

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Alfred Hsing
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Alfred Hsing, a US martial artist with Chinese origins, besides having a long history of martial arts training in various styles, such as traditional kung fu, tae kwon do and karate, considers wushu – an athletic sport based on Chinese martial arts – as a form of art that pushes one's physical limits and stimulates the mind at the same time. After having won the gold medal at the 10th World Wushu Championships, he became international movie star Jet Li's personal assistant and went on to do stunts, action choreography, and land roles in movies.

Hungarian Wikinews contributor Teemeah has interviewed Alfred Hsing about his views on martial arts, life and Wikipedia.


 Teemeah  Why did you start practicing wushu? Is it a way of retaining your origins?

 A. Hsing  When I was young my father brought home a lot of Chinese martial arts movies so my brother and I grew up liking martial arts. For a long time we would practice moves at home and play fight each other. There are a lot of styles of martial arts and I took classes in tae kwon do, karate, and some traditional kung fu, but when I discovered my first wushu class I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.

I think at first I wanted to learn wushu because I enjoyed it, but as my training became more advanced and serious I realized that it led me back to my roots and I learned much more about my own culture because of it.

 Teemeah  What does wushu mean to you personally?

 A. Hsing  Wushu comes second nature to me and through the repetition of practice it's like a form of meditation for me. When I practice I can release all of the stresses brought on by the world.

 Teemeah  Do you have an idol or role model in martial arts?

 A. Hsing  When I grew up my dad rented a lot of Jet Li and Jackie Chan movies. As I got to learn more about how hard working and dedicated they were, they became more of an inspiration to me and motivated me to challenge myself to my limits.

 Teemeah  Now you live in China. Do you consider to stay there or would you move back to the US if you had the opportunity to?

 A. Hsing  I am living in China right now, but I don't usually limit myself by setting strict plans for the future because we never know what the future will hold so I usually stay open minded and keep myself open to whatever opportunities come my way. Of course since I have family in the US I do see myself being back there at some point, but Asia also is like home for me.

 Teemeah  How do you find living in China? What is your favourite pastime there?

 A. Hsing  China is a very exciting place right now because there are so many opportunities and there is so much growth. Most of my time is spent working, but when I'm not working my favorite pastime is probably working out with friends. I enjoy anything with physical activity like swimming, playing ball, sparring, etc.

 Teemeah  Can you tell us what you have been doing lately?

 A. Hsing  I've been increasing my scope of knowledge lately. Aside from wushu, I've been training boxing, muay thai, and tai chi. I hope to keep expanding my knowledge and skill so that I can be versatile and well rounded in martial arts.

 Teemeah  You have accomplished great results in competitive martial arts but an individual always needs a goal in life. What is yours now?

 A. Hsing  I have many goals right now. I think one of the biggest ones is simply maintaining balance in life. Another goal is to keep on improving myself. Right now I am also doing more acting and action choreography and following my passions.

 Teemeah  You seem to travel a lot, have you ever visited Hungary?

 A. Hsing  I have been around Asia and Europe, but have not had a chance to visit Hungary yet. Maybe you could show me around sometime.

 Teemeah  And now a different topic: what is your opinion about Wikipedia, as a project [that] aims to collect the knowledge of mankind?

 A. Hsing  I think Wikipedia has been very useful. The ability to aggregate data onto a single search-able platform is definitely a great contribution. Mankind has [always] been able to improve through building on knowledge from the past and now Wikipedia is making this process more efficient.

 Teemeah  Do you use it? Have you ever contributed yourself?

 A. Hsing  I do use it when I need to quickly find out information on a certain subject. I have made some small contributions on Wikipedia in regards to wushu.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.